Past event

01 June 2017
5.30 – 7.30pm

Decoherence: A live performance by Mark Harvey

01 June 2017. Free entry.

Decoherence Live performance in collaboration with Shaun Hendy, physicist

Thursday 1 June 5.30 – 7.30pm

Mark Harvey’s Decoherence responds to The Physics Room’s current exhibition, Westerlund 2 by Hannah Beehre. It asks the question: What might happen if The Physics Room and space collapse in on top of the performance?

In physics, ‘decoherence’ refers to the process by which bodies and quantum systems lose some of their more unusual quantum properties, such as superposition, the ability to appear in different places simultaneously, as they interact with their environments. When a particle decoheres, its probability wave collapses, any quantum superpositions disappear, and it settles into its observed state under classical physics.

Decoherence is a response to Hannah Beehre’s exhibition, Westerlund 2, and is the third instalment of Harvey’s on-going series Nonlocality at The Physics Room.


Mark Harvey is a New Zealand-based artist mostly working in performance and video drawing on political, psychological and social approaches and physical endurance. He is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Creative Arts and Industries at The University of Auckland and has a PhD from AUT University in related practice. He has recently published a book on a sample of 14 years of his practice titled Play Book (Index Design and Publishing).

Shaun Hendy is a physicist and Director of Te Pūnaha Matatini. His recent book Silencing Science reflects on the value of science and how it has been so often silenced when it comes to public policy. He served as Deputy Director of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology from 2008-2012 and as President of the New Zealand Association of Scientists from 2011-2013. He has won a number of awards, including the Prime Minister's Science Media Communication Prize and ANZIAM's E. O. Tuck Medal. In 2012 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Hendy is a Professor of Physics at the University of Auckland.